In order to evaluate genetic variability of agro-morphological traits and also determine the correlation between grain yield with its components in rice lines, 17 recombinants inbred lines, their parents and a check variety were grown in research station of Africa rice center in Benin republic during two consecutive years 2013 and 2014. The experiments were laid out in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Phenotypic coefficients of variance were higher than genotypic coefficients of variance in all the characters across the two years. High heritability in broad sense (H2) estimates were obtained for biomass (68.77%), date of 50% flowering (98.11%), plant height (81.94%), leaf area (82.90%), number of panicles (64.40%), leaf dry weight (72.91%), root weight (67.43%) and yield/plant (62.23%) suggesting that the traits were primarily under genetic control. A joint consideration of broad sense heritability (H2) and genetic advance as per cent mean expected (GAM) revealed that leaves dries weight and roots weight combined high heritability and high GAM. Furthermore, high (H2) and high GAM recorded in these characters could be explained by additive gene action. However, high estimates (H2) combined with moderate GAM recorded for biomass, day to 50% flowering, leaf area, number of panicle and yield/plant could be due to non-additive gene effect. Grain yield/plant recorded positive and significant correlation with stem weight (r=0.5262) and biomass (r=0.9291). This result indicates that selection based on these two characters will be highly effective for yield improvement in rice.
Key words: Agro-morphological traits, correlation, genetic variability, heritability, rice.
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